As an employer, can you insist that your employees use their holiday allowance if they’re asked to do jury service? This was a question I was asked recently, so here is the answer.
An employer can’t insist that holiday is used for jury service, but they must give members of staff time off to complete the jury service. They are not allowed to refuse to give employees time off when summoned.
The employer may think that it is not a good time for that member of staff to be away from the business and on jury service – if there’s a heavy workload in the business, or if a number of other people are on holiday or off sick, leaving the company short staffed. In these cases, the employee can ask for a deferment of the jury service, but their employee will be called again, normally with 12 months. This may allow time to plan their time away from the business and make other arrangements for cover.
How are employees paid while on jury service? The employer does not have to pay their staff while away from the business. While employees will not be paid for jury service, they will be reimbursed subject to a maximum daily amount if absence from work causes them to lose earnings, have to pay a substitute to do their job or incur any other necessary expense, such as a childminder. People called for jury service can also claim travelling expenses, a subsistence allowance for food and drink and for any loss of National Insurance contributions they may have incurred.
As an employee, if you’re called for jury service, you could decide to use your holiday entitlement for the time that you’re away, so that you are paid for the time by your employer, rather than relying on the court subsidy. However, that is a choice you have to make, about whether or not you want to use your holiday entitlement.
I’ve made a short video about this topic ? click here to watch it and learn more about jury service.